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The Dos and Don’ts of Modern Food Inventory Management

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food inventory management

Food inventory management is one of the most important aspects of business today.

Not only does it help keep your shelves stocked and your food safe, but it can also help you reduce costs and streamline your operations.

Food inventory is one of the most important aspects of any business, and it’s essential that you have a system in place to manage it properly.

However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to understanding how to manage food inventory management; otherwise, you could find your business struggling.

In this article, we’ll outline the dos and don’ts of modern food inventory management so that you can stay ahead of the curve and learn how to manage food inventory. 

What is Food Inventory Management?

What is Food Inventory Management?

Food inventory management is the process of keeping track of the food supplies in a restaurant or other food-related business.

This includes keeping track of both the physical inventory of food items and the corresponding financial records.

The primary goal of food inventory management is to ensure that a business has enough food on hand to meet customer demand, while also minimizing waste and losses.

An effective food inventory management system can help to streamline operations, improve profitability, and reduce the risk of health and safety issues.

Key Features of Restaurant Inventory Control System

Managing food inventory is a critical part of any business. It ensures that the right amount of food is available at all times, minimizing wastage and ensuring that you’re able to meet customer demand without running out of stock.

A good restaurant inventory management system should have several features, including:

1- Database Tracking

Database Tracking

Keep track of every item in your inventory so you can trace it back to its source. This way, you’ll know what’s on hand and how much each item costs.

With jalebi.io’s inventory-first restaurant management system, restaurants can integrate their menus with the inventory for stock tracking in real-time.

This allows them to make better decisions about what food to order and when it should be ordered, helping them save money on costs associated with running out of ingredients or having too much stock on hand.

2- Ordering and Delivery Sequencing

Ordering and delivery sequencing is a fundamental feature of an inventory management system and serves as the backbone for smooth inventory operations. 

It begins with the sophisticated use of forecasting and demand planning. High-performing inventory systems utilize machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to predict future sales accurately. 

This is done by analyzing historical data, recognizing market trends, and incorporating other influential factors. 

The objective is to avoid any potential overstocking or understocking situations which could disrupt the business flow or incur unnecessary costs.

3- Inventory Forecasting

Predict future necessities by calculating expected changes in sales volume or consumer demand over time.

This will allow you to budget for necessary purchases ahead of time, rather than having them show up as a surprise later on down the line!

jalebi.io is a computerized inventory-first restaurant management system that allows you to get sales data visualizations for better forecasting and decision-making.

With jalebi, you can conduct stock tracking in real-time, see what’s selling well, and optimize food inventory accordingly. 

By implementing these basic principles into your restaurant inventory management system, you’ll be able to keep your shelves stocked and avoid unpleasant surprises along the way!

4. Barcoding and Tagging

Barcoding and tagging are pivotal features in a modern inventory management system. They facilitate quick identification, categorization, and tracking of items in your inventory. 

A barcode or tag contains essential information about an item, such as its SKU, price, manufacturer details, and batch number. 

This information can be easily scanned using a barcode scanner, reducing the chance of human error in inventory management and speeding up processes like receiving, picking, and stocking. 

Some systems may also support RFID tags, allowing contactless scanning and storing more detailed information than traditional barcodes.

5. Reporting Capabilities

Reporting is a crucial feature that enables businesses to gain valuable insights from their inventory data. 

A sound inventory management system should provide a wide range of customizable reports, such as sales reports, inventory turnover reports, slow-moving inventory reports, and out-of-stock reports. 

These reports can help businesses identify trends, evaluate performance, and make informed decisions. 

For instance, sales reports can show which items are the best-sellers, while slow-moving inventory reports can help identify things that may need to be discounted or discontinued.

6. Inventory Alerts

Inventory alerts are notifications that warn businesses when certain conditions in their inventory are met. 

For example, an inventory management system might send an alert when stock levels for a particular item fall below a pre-defined threshold, enabling businesses to reorder in time and avoid stockouts. 

Alerts can also be set up for other situations, such as when an item hasn’t sold for a certain period (indicating potential dead stock) or when a shipment is overdue. 

This feature ensures that businesses stay on top of their inventory situation and can react promptly to any issues.

7. Inventory Security and Backup

Security is paramount in inventory management to protect sensitive business information and ensure accurate record-keeping. 

This involves user access controls, which allow businesses to determine who can access the inventory system and what actions they can perform. 

For instance, a warehouse worker might have permission to update inventory quantities but not to adjust pricing information. 

Backup is another crucial feature, ensuring that inventory data is regularly saved and can be recovered in case of a system failure or data loss. 

Doing so may involve automated backups to a cloud server, which also allows businesses to access their inventory data from anywhere.

Five Restaurant Inventory Planning Steps

  1. Get Organized

The first step to effective inventory management is inventory organisation. 

It involves categorising items, designating specific areas for certain products, and clearly labelling everything. 

Streamlining the organization process makes the following inventory planning steps much more straightforward and efficient. 

An organised inventory helps reduce errors and miscounts, along with minimising waste.

  1. Have the Same Staff Take Inventory

Consistency is key when it comes to accurate inventory management. Having the same staff members take inventory each time reduces the margin of error. 

Different individuals might have different counting methods or might interpret products differently. 

Keeping the inventory process consistent with the same inventory management team can help spot irregularities and ensure your inventory planning steps are as accurate as possible.

  1. Take Inventory Before or After Hours

To ensure the most accurate count without interruptions, one critical inventory planning step is taking inventory during non-business hours. 

You can either do this before the restaurant opens or after it closes. Doing so provides a quiet environment free from the hustle and bustle of daily operations, which streamlines the whole process.

  1. Research Cost of Goods After Taking Inventory

After completing the inventory, research the current cost of goods. Prices of ingredients can fluctuate due to seasonal changes, supplier variations, or market dynamics. 

By consistently updating the cost of goods as part of your inventory planning steps, you can adjust menu prices or reconsider certain items on your menu to maintain profitability.

  1. Use Restaurant Inventory Management Software

Leveraging technology can significantly streamline the inventory planning steps. 

Inventory management software can automate various processes, track inventory in real time, offer insights through analytics, and even predict future inventory needs based on historical data. 

Restaurants that opt for inventory management software save time and ensure a higher degree of accuracy compared to those who follow manual inventory-taking methods.

These five inventory planning steps provide a structured approach to restaurant inventory management. 

By following these steps diligently, restaurants can reduce waste, optimise stock levels, and ensure they are always prepared to meet their customers’ needs.

How Do You Use The FIFO Method To Restock Food?

The FIFO or First-In-First-Out method is a procedure employed in food storage to ensure that the oldest items are used first to maximise product freshness and reduce waste. 

But how do you use the FIFO method to restock food? Here’s the step-by-step guide to help you understand the FIFO inventory management approach.

  1. Identification

Begin by identifying products based on their expiration or use-by dates. The oldest dates should be immediately noticeable.

  1. Clearance

If you come across any items that have surpassed their use-by dates or appear damaged, discard them to meet the food safety standards.

  1. Prioritization

When considering how to use the FIFO method to restock food, always prioritize items with the soonest expiration dates by positioning them at the front to ensure they are the first to be used or sold.

  1. Restocking

When new food items arrive, place them behind the current stock. When wondering how to use the FIFO method to restock food, always ensure that those with the furthest expiration dates are placed furthest back.

  1. Usage

Always use or sell the items at the front first to maximise efficiency. 

Make sure you follow this usage practice as it is at the heart of understanding how do you use the FIFO method to restock food effectively.

Additionally, it’s vital to label foods that aren’t marked with dates, especially if you are transferring them from the original packaging to new packaging. 

Proper labelling assists chefs and kitchen staff to quickly determine which items must be consumed first.

So, consistently applying the FIFO method when restocking food ensures that older items are consumed before newer ones which ultimately increases freshness and minimises waste. 

And for items needing refrigeration or freezing, remember to stock those before items the ones that are stored at room temperature.

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How To Do Inventory in a Restaurant: The Dos and Don’ts of Food Inventory Management

The Dos and Don’ts of Food Inventory Management

It’s no secret that restaurant inventory management is one of the most important aspects of running a successful restaurant. Not only does it ensure that you have the correct amount of food on hand to meet demand, but it can also help you save money. 

However, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of food inventory management in order to avoid any potential problems. Here’s all you need to know to learn how to do inventory in a restaurant!

1- Do Synchronize Your Menu With Inventory

If you are wondering how to do inventory, one of the best strategies to increase revenue is to serve your customers in-time. This makes it necessary to never run out of stock.

Effective menu planning is essential to make sure your customers never return empty-handed. You need to make sure that your menu choices are in line with the products that you have in stock.

This can be a challenge, especially if you have a large menu or offer seasonal specials. 

However, it is essential to synchronize your menu with your inventory in real-time in order to maximize efficiency and minimize waste.

To do this, you can use leverage an online restaurant management system such as jalebi.io that integrates your menu and inventory.

This way, you can see exactly what items are available and make changes to your menu accordingly.

2- Don’t Rely on Subjective Judgements

It is often difficult to make accurate predictions about inventory levels, as subjective judgments can play a big role. This means that you and your team may end up making assumptions rather than basing your decisions on objective evidence.

This can lead to inaccurate forecasting of sales, leading to problems such as over or under-production. Inaccurate forecasts also impact the decision-making process for pricing and menu items.

And finally, it can lead to shortages or excesses in certain areas, which will have an adverse effect on customer service and employee morale.

3- Do Leverage Insightful Restaurant Analytics

Inventory management is all about finding the right balance. Too much inventory can be a drain on your resources, while too little can lead to lost sales and unhappy customers.

Restaurant analytics can help you find that perfect balance by providing insights into customer ordering patterns, popular menu items, and more. 

Armed with this information, you can make informed decisions about what to stock and when to order it, ensuring that your customers always have what they need.

jalebi.io is a restaurant management system that lets you optimize food inventory and track sales data in an easy-to-use interface. By using our reporting features, you can gain insights into how your food inventory is performing and identify areas where you could increase profits. 

4- Don’t Overstock Inventory

If you’re a restaurant owner who is learning how to do inventory, you know that one of the key components to success is having a well-stocked inventory. After all, if you run out of food, your customers will be disappointed. So if you are wondering how do restaurants manage inventory, it’s important not to overstock your inventory as well. Doing so can put you in a financial crunch. 

For one thing, overstocking means that you’re likely to have perishable items go bad before they can be used. This results in wasted food and money.

Additionally another important step in the How do restaurants manage inventory guide is  that, if you have too much food on hand, you may be tempted to offer discounts or promotions in order to get rid of it before it goes bad – which can eat into your profits. 

It’s important to strike a balance when it comes to stocking your restaurant’s inventory. You don’t want to run out of food, but you also don’t want to have too much on hand.

Find a happy medium and you’ll keep your customers happy – and your bank account healthy. It is definitely one of the safest strategies to boost revenue.

5- Do Adopt an Inventory Management System

Adopting an inventory management system is a great way to streamline your restaurant’s inventory. By keeping track of your inventory electronically, you can save time and money by avoiding overstocking or running out of supplies.

An inventory management system can also help you keep track of your food costs, so you can be sure that you are pricing your menu items correctly.

In addition, having an accurate inventory will help you make better decisions about what products to order and how much to order.

Overall, an inventory management system is a valuable tool that can save you time and money while helping you run your restaurant more efficiently.

6. Do Measure Inventory Management Performance

Assessing your inventory management performance is crucial to running an efficient operation. 

Key metrics could include inventory turnover, carrying costs, rate of return, order cycle time, and stock-out incidents. 

Remember to benchmark your performance against industry standards or competitors, where possible.

7. Don’t Dump Inventory Without A Plan

It can be tempting to offload slow-moving or obsolete inventory quickly to free up warehouse space and reduce carrying costs while ensuring restaurant inventory control

However, doing so without a plan can lead to lost revenue and potential damage to your brand.

Instead, consider strategies like offering discounts, bundling products, or running promotional campaigns. 

In some cases, you may also be able to return items to suppliers or sell them to liquidation companies. 

Whatever approach you choose, ensure it aligns with your overall business and customer strategy.

8. Do Align Inventory With Other Operations

Inventory management should operate in collaboration with the rest of your business. It should be closely aligned with other operations such as sales, marketing, procurement, and finance. 

For instance, your sales forecasts should inform your inventory levels, and your marketing campaigns should consider your stock availability. 

Likewise, your procurement should be aligned with your inventory turnover, and your finance team should be aware of your inventory carrying costs. 

This alignment ensures everyone is working towards the same goals and that decisions in one area don’t inadvertently cause problems in another.

9. Don’t Use Inventory As A Bandaid

While it might seem like a good idea to keep excess inventory “just in case”, this can lead to high carrying costs and risk of obsolescence. 

Rather than using restaurant inventory control as a buffer against poor forecasting or operational inefficiencies, strive to address the root causes of these issues. 

This could involve improving your forecasting accuracy, streamlining your supply chain, or implementing a just-in-time inventory system. 

Remember, a healthy business is one that can meet customer demand with the minimum necessary inventory.

How Do Restaurants Manage Inventory With Jalebi’s Restaurant Management System

Running a restaurant can be very time-consuming and stressful. And, if you’re not careful about how do restaurants manage inventory, your inventory could become unmanageable and chaotic.

That’s where jalebi’s restaurant inventory control feature comes in! Now that you know how to manage food inventory, partner with jalebi’s kitchen inventory management system today.

Why Choose Jalebi.io?

  • jalebi.io is a leading kitchen inventory management system. It allows you to streamline your inventory by automating the order process and tracking stock levels from one simple platform. 
  • It enables you to track your food inventory in real time, from the moment it enters your system till the moment it is consumed. This allows you to manage your stocks more efficiently, reducing wastage and maximizing profits. 
  • The system also provides valuable insights into your customers’ dining habits, helping you to make better-informed decisions about menu planning and pricing.
  • Plus, it provides real-time updates on stock availability so that you can make informed decisions about what items to order and when to restock them. 
  • With jalebi.io, you can integrate your menu with your inventory so that you always know what’s in stock and what needs to be ordered.

Because jalebi.io is cloud-based, you can access it from anywhere, which makes it easy  for restaurants to see how do restaurants manage inventory no matter where you are. Inventory management has never been easier. 

What are you waiting for? Partner with Jalebi.io’s kitchen inventory management system today, and see just how easy restaurant inventory control is smoothly! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you streamline your restaurant’s operations and facilitate restaurant inventory control.

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